December 30th, 2011

Content Aeris

Eating that dead thing you found in the street

Setting: medieval European inspired fantasy world

I have two 12-year-old orphans who haven't eaten in days. They live in a slums area where there's not enough to go around, and winter is coming on - basically, they're starving and desperate. They find a dead rat and they eat it raw. Firstly, is this unbelievable?I mean in the sense of how instinctive is it for humans to not eat dead animals they found lying about? (as I understand, even many wild animals will avoid eating things that are already dead)

I've looked into the dangers of eating raw meat (though I didn't find anything specifically concerning rodents). I am wondering, though, how the danger changes by finding something that could have been dead for several hours, or several days. Additionally, I am talking about a rat, so I suppose there's a good chance it's carrying some kind of sickness. (I don't need the characters to get sick or anything. It'd be better if they didn't, actually. Just concerned about realism.)

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In my searches, I resorted to pet forums about dogs and cats eating roadkill or whatever, but I imagine that's not completely comparable to humans. Raw meat itself I've found some information on, I was just hoping to run this particular scenario by you guys. Thanks.